If you’re here, chances are you already know about Asbestos. If you don’t, this guide will help you gauge the actual damage these deadly heat-resistant microfibers can do.
Asbestos can be detrimental to health and due to some uninformed manufacturing decisions over the past decades, it was commonly found in many homes around the world.
An air purifier is a great investment for removing allergens and odors from your home, but did you know they can also help to remove asbestos?
Can Air Purifiers Remove Asbestos?
Yes, according to studies, air purifiers with a HEPA filter and melt-blown filters have shown high efficiency in removing dangerous particulate matter like asbestos from the indoor air.
While many air purifiers use physical filtration, only the best ones with at least a HEPA-rated filter will be able to filter asbestos particles from the air. Asbestos particles have a size of 0.7 to 90 microns, so it is important that whatever air purifier you use, is able to scrub the air of particles smaller than that.
Selecting the right air purifier can be very difficult, particularly when there are so many different options available on the market. We’ve done the research for you and have shortlisted the best air purifiers for asbestos. All three of these remove particles much smaller than .7 micron, to give you the cleanest, asbestos-free air.
3 Best Air Purifier for Asbestos
This table summarizes the specifications and features of the top 3 air purifiers for asbestos.
- Alen BreatheSmart
- Medify MA-112
- Winix 5500-2
In a hurry? The comparison table below has all the information you’ll need to make the right decision. Read on for a more detailed review.
1. Alen BreatheSmart Classic
Alen is the manufacturer to beat when it comes to versatile air purifiers. Alen BreatheSmart series brings various air purifiers for different settings. The BreatheSmart series isn’t just effective, it is aesthetic as well. You get the option to select the trim that matches your indoor colors to ensure that the purifier blends in with the indoor setting.
As for the protection, Alen Breathesmart packs medical-grade protection against air contaminants and can shield you from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. The True HEPA filter can be paired with different combinations to provide better protection against contaminants.
According to Alen, here are the benefits each filter choice brings
- Pure: True HEPA Filter, Captures airborne allergens & dust
- Silver: True HEPA Filter. All-around solution; Captures allergens, dust, and mold
- FreshPlus: True HEPA, The chemical filter; removes allergens, dust, cooking odor, smoke, and VOC’s Volatile organic compounds
- OdorCell: True HEPA Filter, Odor neutralizer; Captures allergens, dust, pet & diaper odor
As all of the filters feature the same True HEPA base, their effectiveness against asbestos is the same. However, you can make the choice depending on the type of other contaminants that you face.
Thanks to the H13 True HEPA air filters, the BreatheSmart Classic can filter up to 99.99% of particulate matter down to a size of 0.1 microns. As asbestos molecules fall within its cleansing range, the Breathesmart can easily handle it and can also help remove dust, dust mites, ash, pet fur, pet dander, and even organic matter including bacteria and mold spores, etc.
Alen has included a pre-filter before the H13 HEPA filter that traps larger molecules, ensuring that the HEPA filter has improved life. The pre-filter can be easily removed and vacuumed.
If your indoor space is also facing odor issues alongside asbestos, then investing in the odorCell filter will be the best choice. As all the filters are fused into one package, you cannot add a filter afterward as the whole filter has to be bought as a single unit.
Although this helps reduce costs, Alen filters are still one of the most expensive filters on the market, but thanks to their excellent product design and inclusion of innovative features, the Alen BreathSmart series is arguably one of the best HEPA air purifier options out there.
Alen has included an Air Quality Sensor and an indicator light that lights up blue, orange, or red based on the indoor air quality levels. A red light indicating poor air quality triggers the high mode where the purifier works at maximum fan speeds in an attempt to bring down the airborne contaminants.
Once the air quality has improved, the auto mode lowers the fan speeds and the overall operation is barely audible.
Alen BreatheSmart air purifier can clean up to 1100 sq. ft. twice every 30 minutes, making it come of the best air purifiers for asbestos in a large space.
2. Medify MA-112 Air Purifier
If you’re looking for a whole-house solution to your Asbestos problem, then the Medify MA-112 can be the ideal choice. With over 560 cubic feet per minute, this air purifier is a beast that can make sure no asbestos makes its way into your body. This is no surprise as Medify makes some of the best HEPA air purifiers on the market.
The MA-112 brings medical-grade protection thanks to a four-stage filtration system. The Pre-filter, H13 True HEPA air filter, and an activated carbon filter are complimented by an ionizer that helps keep the indoor air safe and breathable.
The pre-filter, the true HEPA air filter, and the activated carbon filter work in unison to bring down air contaminants with an accuracy of 99.99%. Whatever little particles are left out, they are handled by the ionizer that releases negative ions into the air.
The negative ions latch onto airborne contaminants, making them too heavy to stay airborne. You might notice an increase in the dust as you use the air purifier but that is going to subside with time as the filter material captures pollutants.
The best aspect of Medify MA-112 is the high CADR that makes it a whole-house air purifier for asbestos and other contaminants. If you use old equipment or are concerned that your indoor space can have asbestos, then investing in MA-112 will ensure that your whole home is covered. In addition, the purifier can be moved around with ease thanks to the well-hidden wheels under the device.
The downside to the MA-112 is the lack of an auto mode and smart controls. While it can easily handle all kinds of airborne particles, you’ll have to turn it on and off manually.
While this can be a dealbreaker for some, it doesn’t decrease the effectiveness and efficiency of the air purifier against asbestos or any other pollutant.
A word of caution though, just like Alen, Medify also offers a lifetime warranty that is only valid if you buy the original replacement filters every 6 months from the manufacturer.
Medify is certainly among the top air purifiers in the world and can be used even in a medical facility as it offers complete protection against various types of airborne contaminants including micro ones like asbestos.
3. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier
Winix air purifiers are some of the best on the market thanks to their superior build quality and because the company continuously updates its models to remove any known issues. This continued improvement drive has brought us some great air purifiers like the 5300-2 that replaced the 5300 and the smart air purifier 5500-2 that replaced the 5500 before it.
The Winix 5500-2 is the best air purifier for asbestos if you’re looking to get something that won’t break the bank and does not have astronomical filter replacement costs.
The 5500-2 brings 4-stage filtration just like the much more expensive Medify MA-112. Winix brings a unique mix of activated carbon pre-filters that help the 5500-2 easily control odors in the air before passing the air onto the HEPA filter that removes particulate matter like asbestos.
The pre-filter can be removed and washed when needed, this further increases the life of the HEPA filter.
With an efficiency of 99.97% according to the EPA, the HEPA filter can help trap particles like dust specks, mold spores, asbestos, pollen, and various other allergens and respiratory irritants that can trigger allergy flare-ups.
The combination of pre-filter, HEPA filter, and Activated Carbon Filter, make the Winix an excellent choice against tough to remove particles like asbestos, and that too, at a fraction of the cost of what other manufacturers are charging.
Winix also brings the proprietary PlasmaWave technology that acts as a 4th filtration stage. The plasma-wave technology can be turned off if needed as some people aren’t comfortable with their air purifier producing ozone to tackle pollutants.
Winix is the perfect air purifier for asbestos as it can remove the dangerous pollutant effectively and that too without very expensive filters or initial purchase prices.
In addition, the Winix 5500-2 also has a remote control, filter replacement indicator, and auto mode in a futuristic design, so you can just turn it on and forget that it’s even there. The 5500-2 can take care of the rest.
Why Choose an Air Purifier for Asbestos?
Asbestos fiber occurs naturally and was actively used in home construction and manufacturing industries, thanks to its natural electrical insulating and fire-resistant properties. Unfortunately, this asbestos is known to cause several health problems.
An Air purifier with HEPA filters can filter out asbestos and other air contaminants as small as 0.3 microns with an efficiency of up to 99.99%. Asbestos particles are generally between 0.7-90 microns in size and can be easily filtered out by a HEPA purifier.
What Should I Look for in an Air Purifier for Asbestos?
A HEPA or True HEPA filter can efficiently filter our asbestos. HEPA filters have a rating based on their efficiency. An H13 HEPA filter can filter even the smallest particles with 99.99% filtering efficiency.
In addition to the HEPA filter, you must also consider the size of the room you are looking to clean. Typically, an air purifier must filter the indoor air at least twice an hour.
How can asbestos get into my home?
Asbestos was quite common in the past as it was actively being used in the construction and manufacturing industries thanks to its properties. This practice continued till 1973 when the harmful effects were made known by researchers.
Older homes and constructions have a higher chance of having lingering asbestos that can become a part of indoor air through the insulation or ceilings, roofs, and walls.
Cutting through or drilling can release tiny asbestos dust fragments into the air if these structures are modified.
How can I be sure my air purifier is removing asbestos from my home?
An asbestos test kit can help confirm if your indoor space is free from asbestos exposure. Tiny asbestos particles can only be detected through these kits that cost between $20 and $100.
If you don’t want to invest in these kits and are still worried about asbestos exposure, then investing in a HEPA air purifier can go a long way in ensuring your indoor space is free from it.
Many people purchase air purifiers to remove odors, pet hair and dander, and allergens from their home environment. An air purifier with a True HEPA filter can also help trap and remove dangerous airborne asbestos particles, making your indoor air safe to breathe in.